A hasty reopening?

 

Sir, – “Indoor dining service could be back by July 19th”, a front-page headline of The Irish Times informs us (News, July 10th). The conditional clause “could” is employed to superb effect here as we all know that no such thing will happen.

It has become very clear over the course of the pandemic that if the current Government stipulates a range of dates for some easing of Covid restrictions then that easing will take place on the latest date mentioned or, more likely, not at all. Leo Varadkar is quoted as saying that the much-vaunted reopening will “probably” take place “between July 19th and 26th” but Micheál Martin cautions that “nothing has been set in stone in terms of dates yet”.

Dr Mike Ryan of the WHO delivers the encouraging news that the worst of the pandemic is over for Ireland and some other European countries but we are warned against a “hasty re-opening”.

It is now the case that indoor dining has returned to one degree or another in every American state. In the boulevards and villages of France, they have been dining on filet mignon indoors for over a month. Ireland remains a stubborn, obdurate outlier nation – the only country across the entire breadth of continental Europe where indoor dining is still banned outright after the longest and most restrictive lockdown anywhere in the western world.

However one chooses to describe our current Government, being “hasty” is something it could never be accused of. – Yours, etc,

SIMON O’NEILL,

Dublin 3.